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Tips for Planning a Rustic Farm Wedding

For the last few years, it has been a trend for modern brides are straying away from the traditional banquet halls and are opting for more “alternative” venues to celebrate their big day. One of the most important aspects in planning your wedding, is to pick a location that truly reflects who you are as a couple. As the weather gets warmer, outdoor rustic farm weddings provide the perfect back drop to say “I Do.” I sat down with Cynthia Beretta, founder and brand ambassador of Beretta Farms and Beretta Kitchen, who shared her secrets on how to plan the perfect farm wedding.

What is the best time of year to plan a farm wedding?
The ideal time to host a farm wedding would be in the late spring, summer and fall seasons. There are barn venues that are equipped to accommodate year-round celebrations including the winter season, however, the general rule of thumb for rustic, heritage barn weddings is to host during the warmer seasons. These times of year also allow the grassy areas and walkways (if not paved) to dry from the snowy, winter months and for the ground to settle and dry up.
Another good tip when visiting barn venues would be to visit the space during the actual times your ceremony and/or reception would be taking place. This helps you to get a sense of how the barn surroundings and lighting appear during these times. For example, visiting a barn during the morning time, when your reception would be taking place in the evening would not give a sense of how the space would present itself during your function.

What are the décor trends you are seeing lately for a farm wedding?
Your theme and style for a barn wedding can be as casual and laid back as you’d like to as chic and rustically elegant as you desire. Mixing and matching elements from the farm and adding elegant/heirloom touches can add a dimension of ‘wow’ and sophistication without losing the heritage and country feel.

How can you incorporate the rustic, natural décor into your big day?
Think galvanized containers, pitchers for floral accents and centerpieces. Add some succulents to floral arrangements; even fruits and vegetables can be used to tie the look back to the land. Adding earthy décor elements such as potted mums on a wagon or a haystack with a welcome sign greeting the bride and groom adds a very personalized touch. You can also apply a DIY approach with handwritten touches – such as banners, cut paper emblems and chalkboard signage.
For a rustic, chic-style wedding, don’t shy away from adding elegance to your occasion by incorporating unexpected elements such as heirloom crystals, silver with patina (nothing too new or shiny – patina adds to the charm), and lace. Haystacks add a wonderful, warm feel to the space and add an extra dimension of texture that can be complemented by beautiful, wide wooden beams and boards. Just a simple touch of laying fabric, whether coloured or white that ties into your theme is a nice way to add dimension to the otherwise brown hued inner surroundings. You can also incorporate wooden barrels as table legs and lay a wooden plywood tabletop to create a guest registry area or seating card table. Wooden barrels can also act as cocktail tables or accents for the bar.

What would you suggest for a rustic themed menu?
For a rustic themed menu I would suggest a bit more of a casually themed menu that is still country elegant. Opting for a family style service instead of a plated dinner is a great way to achieve this. For a farm wedding, incorporating details of the farm into the menu is essential. Focusing on using seasonal and local ingredients is a great way to achieve a farm to table menu. If the venue permits having a barbeque or meat that is spit roasted, is a great option for a rustic themed menu.

What are your “do’s and don’t” for a sophisticated barn wedding? Do you have any tips or tricks for getting that elegantly rustic look?
A farm setting works well with metal pieces, again pieces that possess patina are great for this. Don’t use brand spanking new, high luster candle sticks for example. Think antique. Think natural. For lighting, champagne white stringed twinkle lights strung around the high beams and behind the couples table brings a starry night atmosphere and romance into the room. Twinkle lights add lovely light without being too stark and blaring. Loose, flowing and casual floral arrangements work well for a rustic farm theme. Avoid arrangements that are too geometrical and rigid. Tropical plants such as palm trees are a no-no and will work against the space and environment. Think about how to embrace the natural flora and fauna of the farm.

Work with the space and not against it. Use as much of the farm elements as you can and let these elements peek through and not completely cover them. In other words, maximize the benefits of the space and don’t mask or recreate the environment into something wildly different. The key to mixing farmhouse with elegance is to really play up the strengths of both and blending them to enhance their key features. Bring in heirloom style pieces to accent with woods and straw. To incorporate elegant touches, hang beautiful, crystal-like droplets off large potted shrubbery and use sophisticated stationary as seating cards. Using antique pieces to compliment the bar and registry, tables are great touches to marry the heritage feel. Editing your colour palette to one with touches of green foliage help to bring in the sophisticated look.